Application for Legislative Commission for David Gray

Contact Information

Full Name

David Gray

Party Affiliation

Democrat

Occupation

Retired

Educational Background

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Political Science, Michigan State University Masters of Public Policy, University of Michigan

Zip Code

81224

Background

Professional Background

See answer below regarding promoting consensus

Past Political Activity

Early in my career I worked for a member of the U.S. Congress (William Ford, D - Michigan) as well as worked on campaigns for candidates for for U.S. Congressional, State of Michigan Senate and State of Michigan Governor; Deputy Campaign Manager, Wolpe for Governor April 1993 - December 1994 Campaign Manager, Watson for Senate July 1992 - March 1993 Staff U.S. Congressional Office June 1991 - July 1992 Staff U.S. Congressional Office March 1987 - November 1990 Since changing careers in the the mid 1990's I have not been "actively" involved in partisan campaigns. I have on occasions volunteered on phone banks (for GOTV) and put putting up lawn signs for local candidates.

List of Political and Civic Organizations belonged to

N/A In my career as a healthcare consultant I traveled around the country on a regular basis which did not allow time for this type of volunteer activity

Statement

I have a life long interest in government, public policy and politics. As you can see from my resume I studied Political Science as an under graduated and received my masters degree in Public Policy. In my first career I pursued these interests by working for a member of the US House of Representatives (William Ford, MI) and then by working on political campaigns for US House, State Senate and Governor. I was fortunate to work for a US House member during redistricting after the 1990 Census and witnessed first hand some of the inner workings of this process as well as seeing how critical district boundaries were in shaping the composition of future governments and ultimately influencing future public policy. As a graduate student in Public Policy I was able to take a seminar on apportionment and redistricting and learn of some of the academic work around these subjects and some early proposals by academics to limit some of the partisan influences from the process (my favorite from the time was proposal that representatives from each political party would take turns drawing a single district boundary line on a redistricting map – the theory being that by forcing them to alternate turns each side would reduce the ability of either side to maximize the boundaries to their advantage). I, like many of our fellow citizens (as demonstrated by the passage of the redistricting commission ballot initiative) have become concerned over the increasing bitterness in partisan politics over the last decade. While I have strong opinions and beliefs over what is “good” policy and advocate for those positions (and the candidates who support them), I also recognize that others hold just as strongly held beliefs that differ sharply from my own. As we have grown more polarized I have worried that our governing institutions have struggled to perform in ways that serve our common good. I have come to agree with the position that a significant contributing factor to this polarization has been the process used to draw district boundaries for state and federal elections. With the massive increase in availability of detailed data about the electorate (by every conceivable dimensions – age, gender, party affiliation, race, ethnicity, income, education, ……) combined the geospacial computing technology available to use this data, we really had reached the point where the party in power during redistricting can maximize their partisan advantages in unprecedented ways. While Colorado’s previous process what not nearly as bad as other states, it still led to may inequities in district boundaries that contributed to this problem. The creation of politically motivated boundaries lines resulted in far too many uncompetitive districts where one political party was almost assured of election. The only competitive elections in these districts where in primary elections, which often resulted in the election of candidates that take the most extreme partisan positions. It is my strong hope that through the new redistricting commission Colorado will draw election boundaries that will result in as many competitive seats as possible, thus improving the opportunity for candidates who will have motivation to seek out solutions that represent that views of citizens from across the political spectrum.

Statement on Working with Consensus

Prior to my retirement this past year I worked as a Strategy and Business Development consultant in the Health Care sector. I this role I would often be hired by large health care systems to work across their organizations - with Board Members, Executives, Physicians, Front Line staff, Community members…. To develop a strategic vision and implementation plan for how an organization was to achieve their strategic goals. In this role I would have to facilitate a process to bring diverse constituencies to a consensus on a common set of goals. At the same time I was also responsible for providing my own inputs into this process – advising senior leaders on strategic options based on my industry observations and expertise. I believe my years of professional experience in strategy and facilitation combined with my passionate believe in the objectives of the redistricting commission will allow me to contribute to a commission that would be able to arrive at a consensus for the good of the citizens of Colorado and not for any individual position or faction.

Relevant Analytic Skills for Commission

In my career as a health care consultant I specialized in the use of data and analytics to drive strategy development and implementation. I was privileged to work for some of the pioneering healthcare information companies (HCIA, Sachs Group, MedStat – which were eventually purchased by IBM Watson Healthcare) and develop a strong set of technical and analytical skills to use information to drive decision making. At IBM I led a group of PhD data scientist, health care analysts and consultants to develop data driven solutions to some of the most challenging problems in the business of healthcare. In this role we used the same type of data (demographical, education, income, location….) and geospacial technology that are used for redistricting. I was responsible for leading and challenging this team to turn “data” and “analytics” into actionable information and insights to drive decision making processes. Through this work I believe I have a strong foundation in the technology, analytics and logic required to develop districts that meet the criteria for determining congressional districts.

Demographics

Racial categories the applicant identifies with:
Caucasian
Applicant identifies with the following gender

Male